One week from today, the much anticipated third season of "American Horror Story" begins. Entitled Coven, award-winning actresses Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and Patti LuPone join the returning Jessica Lange. Coven envisions that many witches escaped persecution during colonial Massachusetts' Salem witch trials by relocating to New Orleans, which began a long-standing rivalry between them and the existing voodoo practitioners in the area. In the present day, with the Salem witches under attack by unknown forces, reigning supreme witch Fiona Goode (Lange) returns to town. Young witches also descend on New Orleans, to Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a secret witch school where they will learn to defend themselves.
As fans count down the days, hours and minutes to Bitchcraft, the first episode, "AHS" has released promo posters (see slideshow), the opening credits, and witch/voodoo themed teaser trailers, a couple featuring the cast. Click here for links to all teaser trailers. Yesterday, the show's Facebook page also published a short informative video about voodoo in New Orleans.
Jessica Lange as Fiona Goode, the supreme witch of her era. Lange appeared in season 1 as Constance Langdon and 2 as Sister Jude (Judy Martin).
Sarah Paulson as Cordelia Foxx, Fiona's daughter who runs the Academy. They have a rocky relationship. Paulson appeared in season 1 as Billie Dean and 2 as Lana Winters.
Josh Hamilton as Hank Foxx, likely Cordelia's husband. New to "AHS."
Evan Peters as Kyle Spencer. The Initiation trailer shows him inside the Academy. Does he live there? Peters appeared in season 1 as Tate Langdon and 2 as Kit Walker.
Patti LuPone as Joan Ramsey, the Bible thumping next door neighbor to the Academy, about which she harbors suspicions. New to "AHS."
Alexander Dreymon as Luke Ramsey, likely Joan Ramsey's son and neighbor to the Academy. New to "AHS."
Taissa Farmiga as Zoe Benson, the new girl at the Academy who just found out she is a witch. Farmiga appeared in season 1 as Violet Harmon.
Emma Roberts as Madison Montgomery, a witch, party girl and Academy student. New to "AHS." Real life girlfriend of Evan Peters.
Jamie Brewer as Nan, an Academy student. Appeared in season 1 as Adelaide Langdon.
Gabourey Sidibe as Queenie, tough girl and Academy student. New to "AHS."
Frances Conroy as Myrtle Snow, Fiona's high school rival. Appeared in season 1 as the elder Moira O'Hara and 2 as the Angel of Death.
Denis O'Hare as Spalding. Appeared in season 1 as Larry Harvey.
Lily Rabe as Misty Day. The trailer Burn shows her dragged and burned at the stake. Appeared in season 1 as Nora Montgomery and 2 as Sister Mary Eunice.
Coven weaves at least two real historical women into its fabric:
Kathy Bates as Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie, an 1800s New Orleans socialite. A fire in her mansion revealed she had tortured and murdered slaves. She will appear in present times.
Angela Bassett as Marie Laveau, an 1800s New Orleans voodoo priestess. Perhaps, as witches, they are immortal or will be resurrected from the dead? Both are new to "AHS."
Alex Breckenridge, who played the young Moira O'Hara in season 1, has been cast in an unknown role. Newcomers also slated to appear include Danny Huston as Fiona's love interest, Christine Ebersole, Leslie Jordan, and Mare Winningham.
Episode list (so far):
3.1 Bitchcraft, airs October 9: A young girl, Zoe, is shattered to discover she possesses a strange genetic affliction tracing back to the dark days of Salem. Zoe is whisked away to Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a mysterious school in New Orleans devoted to safeguarding the few remaining descendants who share this unique bloodline. Harboring a secret agenda, Fiona Goode, the most powerful witch of their generation, returns to town, reigniting old rivalries with the Coven's deadly enemies, the Voodoo. (From IMDb.) Click here to see still photos from this episode, released earlier today.
3.2 Boyparts, airs October 16: Fiona helps Zoe and Madison deal with a horrible tragedy. Delphine LaLaurie struggles to adjust to modern life. Cordelia faces a dark decision about her family. (From The Futon Critic.)
3.3 The Replacements, airs October 23: Fiona takes on an unlikely protégé. A guilt-ridden Zoe tries to give Kyle his old life back. Madison has a fiery exchange with Joan Ramsey, a new neighbor (From The Futon Critic.)
3.4 Fearful Pranks Ensue, airs October 30: Fiona's choices rattle a decades-long truce between the Salem witches and Marie Laveau. The Council of Witchcraft pays a surprise visit to the Academy with disturbing allegations. (From The Futon Critic.)
3.5 Burn, Witch, Burn!, airs November 6. (From SpoilerTV.)
3.6 The Axeman Cometh, airs November 13. (From IBT.)
3.7 The Dead, airs November 20. (From SpoilerTV and The Futon Critic.)
The DVD and Blu-ray for last season, Asylum, release on Tuesday (October 8) and Coven premieres on FX next Wednesday, October 9. Better wear flame-retardant jammies. It's going to be HOT!